Evaluation and application of dye tracing in a karst terrain


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Evaluation and application of dye tracing in a karst terrain
William Scanlan, James
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Subjects / Keywords:
Groundwater Flow ( local )
Missouri ( local )
Measurement ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


"The purpose of this investigation was to select and evaluate in the laboratory a tracing method appropriate for use in karstic areas, and to perform field tracing studies in the south central Missouri area bounded by the cities of Rolla, St. James, and Salem in an attempt to establish existing direct flow connections between surface and subsurface waters. Fluorescein (sodium salt), Rhodamine WT, and Rhodamine B were evaluated as tracers in the laboratory and the first two dyes were employed in the field. After careful evaluation of a number of adsorbents, extracting solvents, and detection techniques, a method consisting of concentration of the dye on packets of activated carbon, extraction with a 5 per cent alkali-ethanol solvent, and detection by means of a fluorometer was selected for use in field tracing studies. Ammonium and potassium hydroxide were most appropriate for the extraction of Rhodamine WT and fluorescein, respectively. Fluorescent background material present in the streams and springs of the south central Missouri study area did not interfere with the fluorometric detection of the dyes. A direct or partially direct subsurface connection 6 to 10 miles long was established between the segment of the Dry Fork Creek located in sections 14 and 23, T.36N., R.7W., of Phelps County and the section of the creek contained between Route F and Highway 68. The rate of subsurface flow in this channel was estimated to be in the range of 1.2 to 4.1 feet per minute at a slope of 6.7 to 12.0 feet per mile"--Abstract, page ii.

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